Last week we highlighted some lessons learned on starting open source projects in your organization. In support of providing a springboard for your dive into open source, we need to address another area where the industry often stumbles – the RFP process. Yes, you’re transforming your network. Yes, you’re transforming your operations. Yes, you’re transforming your service models. Why then, shouldn’t your proposal process transform to better support your new needs?
Often, we find organizations that genuinely want to use more open-source, but that treat the acquisition process the same as they would when buying a new hardware platform. And it just doesn’t work.
Remember, you’re buying software components—the ingredients for the dish you’re going to make, not a fully cooked meal. So, if you’re asking vendors about speeds and feeds, as you would when buying a new data centre switch, you’re not going to get useful information. Ultimately, you want to something that delivers the business logic you need to achieve your business goals, and that’s it. How exactly the software functions under the hood is often irrelevant. Too many times, organizations get buried in the minutia of whether software supports X and Y RFP. At the end of the day, what matters is, can it deliver the right data, in the right format, in the right timeframe? Does it glue together with the other critical parts of your business software environment?
If you’re going to succeed with open-source, come to the table with the high-level objectives you want to accomplish, instead of a list of low-level technical specifications. And remember: when you use open-source, you’re in complete control. If a specific RFP isn’t implemented right now, there’s nothing stopping you from implementing it tomorrow. You’re not asking vendors to deliver a product against a specification anymore, you’re just asking for a set of capabilities, and then implementing them to your own specification yourself. You’re not just a solution buyer anymore, you’re the solution owner. And your RFP process should reflect that.
Lumina extends benefits of OpenDaylight to legacy network elements
SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Lumina Networks today announced Lumina Extension & Adaptation Platform, LEAP. LEAP will extend the benefits of the OpenDaylight-based Lumina SDN Controller to Communications Service Providers looking to simplify legacy resource automation in support of the transformation journey to 5G deployments and DevOps principles. As part of the company’s Intent-Driven Service Automation solution LEAP delivers network flexibility by making network applications aware and cloud-ready.
Providing ubiquitous control for service providers looking to unify programmable and legacy resource controls, LEAP uses model-driven frameworks to shield the complexity of underlying southbound interfaces. With abstract data models and microservices architecture, LEAP, as part of Lumina’s Intent-Driven Service Automation solution, extends the capabilities of Lumina’s OpenDayLight-based (Fluorine release) SDN controller to enable intent-driven network operations. In a language agnostic manner, the platform promotes addition of new microservices-based components and allows DevOps teams to leverage existing scripting skills to extend their service automation frameworks in-house.
“We are excited to announce a solution which extends the life of existing capex investments while decreasing service delivery times from months to minutes,” says Andrew Coward, CEO of Lumina Networks. “LEAP helps Service Providers take control of the network transformation and 5G service innovation while delivering the proven benefits of OpenDaylight to manage and automate heterogeneous environments.”
This announcement comes days after GSMA’s February 4th release naming Lumina to the GSMA 100, a global innovation discovery initiative designed to identify and advance the next generation of connectivity and digital services.
“We welcome Lumina Networks to the GSMA 100. The GSMA 100 companies are leaders in categories that are poised to drive digital transformation and industry growth,” said Laxmi Akkaraju, Chief Strategy Officer, GSMA. “We look forward to working with Lumina to unlock business development and investment opportunities and champion innovation in our industry.”
About Lumina Networks
Lumina Networks’ open source networking solutions simplify and automate heterogeneous networks. By combining engineering excellence, open source leadership and agile development methodology, Lumina Networks empowers Service Providers to reimagine their future without the risk of vendor lock-in. By unifying network architectures and enabling intent-based network functionality, Lumina Networks provides a more customer-centric approach to building and delivering on-demand, customizable services. Learn more about Lumina Networks at www.luminanetworks.com and @luminanetworks.
So, you’ve decided to embrace open-source in your organization. You’re sold on the big-picture benefits of open software: Eliminating vendor lock-in. Tapping the innovation and problem-solving capacity of a broader community. Giving yourself the flexibility to adapt your network as you see fit, rather than as your vendors dictate.
Excellent, welcome to the party! But you probably have some questions. Like: Where does open-source fit best in my network? Which projects should I prioritize? Where the heck do I start?
Those are all excellent questions. And the short answer to all of them is, it depends. Every network is different. Every organization has its own unique business priorities and brings its own mix of skills and experience to the effort. Having worked with service providers around the world to implement open-source in production networks, however, we can offer some common guidelines to help you think through the process.
Remember the big picture.
If you look at some examples of what different CSPs are doing with open-source software, you might imagine they’re attacking entirely different problems. Verizon, for example, is using OpenDaylight and OpenFlow to deliver provider edge functions.Telstra is using it to support a nationwide transport network for analytics and telemetry. Meanwhile, AT&T led the charge to build an open-source framework for the entire network architecture through the Open Network Automation Platform(ONAP) project.
Look at these projects from a distance, and you might think they have nothing to do with each other. Peer under the hood, however, and you realize they’re fundamentally the same. Each operator is using the same basic open-source technology (in this case, the OpenDaylight SDN controller), just implemented in different ways to support different goals.
That’s OK—that’s exactly how open-source is supposed to work. Unlike more fully “productized” solutions built to be used in a specific way to deliver specific outcomes, open-source technologies are meant to be adaptable. They’re more like a set of ingredients, if you will than a fully cooked meal. It may take more effort to do the cooking yourself. But in return, you retain the freedom to cook up exactly what you want—to use those open-source software components however you choose to support your unique business priorities.
Do something with business impact.
Recognizing that you have lots of flexibility, where is the best place to start using open-source? Again, the answer is different for every company. But one piece of advice that applies to everyone: wherever you start, make sure it’s an area with real business impact.
Don’t get into open-source as a research project. That’s been done a million times before, and you’ll end up wasting everyone’s time. Kick off your project in an area that will have a meaningful effect on your business. That way, you have something at stake—and you have a tangible framework to make decisions and evaluate how those decisions pan out.
Choose a project that will make your vendors take notice.
So where in the network you should focus? An excellent place to start is any area where you can compare open-source components against incumbent vendors.
When you look at the CSPs making significant open-source investments, invariably they pilot them against network vendors they already work with. Maybe you’re piloting OpenDaylight for edge routers where, until now, you’ve been using Cisco or Juniper. Or, maybe you’re piloting an open-source analytics platform, which you can compare with what you’re currently spending on Splunk or LogLogic.
By launching your open-source project in an area like this, you’re planting a flag for your vendors. If you want to participate in this part of my network in the future, you’re going to have to adhere to common standards, and you’re going to have to compete. Now, you have a real, tangible comparison to evaluate the impact of your project. Are you getting better pricing from your vendors? Better support? More time and attention?
Choose the right open-source project.
It should go without saying, but not all open-source software is created equal. The reality is, anyone can publish code under an open-source software license that people are free to download and use. The kinds of projects CSPs should stick to, however, are efforts backed by large, active contributing communities.
Remember, one of the main rationales for using open-source in the first place is community innovation. When you work with software like OpenDaylight, you’re using code that hundreds of the smartest minds in the industry have developed and tested and validated. And, as an active contributor, you can go back to that community when you (inevitably) hit roadblocks in your integration.
Effectively, for every dollar you put into open-source (in time and effort you devote to integrating and troubleshooting the code for your network), you’re getting back three via the efforts of the rest of the community. Choose a small open-source project without that kind of backing? Now, you are the community. And the only one contributing to solving your problems is you.
Enlist the right partners.
Part of the beauty of open source is the ability to work with innovators in new ways. Not only can you solve existing problems, but can reimagine new opportunities and have the flexibility to make it happen. While transitioning to this software world that will empower a new DevOps mentality, you need a portfolio of partners to support your transition. Lumina Networks NetDev team leverage their leadership in the open source community and agile methodology to help customers transform. Through agile sprints, we co-produce a strategy to suit your business needs while transferring open source and software knowledge to your transitioning team.
Learn more about Lumina NetDev Services and why we’ve been proven to partner to operators around the world.
Next week we’ll dive into the RFP process to help you understand how to properly engage the open source community in your transformational projects.
Industry Selects 18 New Companies Focused on Key Innovation Priorities Including 5G, AI, Data Analytics, Consumer Experience, the Internet of Things and Cybersecurity
London: The GSMA has named 18 new companies to the ‘GSMA 100’, a global innovation discovery initiative designed to identify the world’s most promising growth-stage companies and advance the next generation of connectivity and digital services. These new companies include AppOnBoard, Cinarra, Cloudify, CUJOAI, DefinedCrowd, Genus AI, Invisible Systems, IoTium, Jiminy, KaiOS, Limitless, Litmus Automation, Lumina Networks, Messagenius, SecureHome, UserTribe, Vilynx, and Zeotap.
“The GSMA 100 companies are leaders in categories that are poised to drive digital transformation and industry growth,” said Laxmi Akkaraju, Chief Strategy Officer, GSMA. “We look forward to working with these companies to unlock business development and investment opportunities and champion innovation in our industry.”
The GSMA 100 is nominated by GSMA operator members, ecosystem partners and leading technology investors and primarily comprises growth-stage, venture-backed companies, some of which are operator portfolio companies. The latest additions to the GSMA 100 represent corporate venture investments by companies including AT&T, KPN Ventures, Reliance Jio, Singtel Innov8, SoftBank and Verizon.
The GSMA 100 represents the innovation priorities of mobile operators around the world. Companies are referred into the programme through investment and key partners. Contributors to the GSMA 100 to date include: América Móvil, Blumberg Capital, British Telecom, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, EIT Digital, Etisalat, Telecom Italia, HV Holtzbrinck Ventures, KPN Ventures, MegaFon, MTN Group, Orange, Rogers Communications, Sony Innovation Fund, Telefónica, Telenor Group, Telstra Ventures, US Cellular and Vodafone, among others.
For further information on the GSMA 100, visit: www.gsma100.com.
Originally posted here: https://www.gsma.com/newsroom/press-release/gsma-announces-new-growth-companies-to-the-gsma-100/
In last week’s blog, we highlighted why the service provider community is looking to open source to solve some of their network challenges. This week, we’ll continue that conversation by addressing the value open source brings and how to approach open source projects.
The open-source model, especially as applied to the network, empowers companies to break out of the boxes that proprietary vendors have historically kept them. They can begin to create a networking paradigm that’s much more flexible and interoperable, and ultimately, more cost-effective. Open-source brings:
- Collaboration: With proprietary technologies, your solutions are the product of one vendor organization. In the open-source world, solutions are developed by people from the best minds at dozens, even hundreds of companies coming together. Rather than each networking vendor building its own model behind closed doors for how a network should work, now everyone is working together on a single, common model.
- Speed: Along those lines, large open-source projects bring more people, skills, experience, and resources to bear than even the largest individual vendors. Which means they can solve problems faster and bring them from lab to production on shorter timescales. Consider the OpenDaylight network controller. A code base of that size historically would have taken one vendor three to four years to implement. Developed through an open-source ecosystem, with different groups attacking different pieces of the problem simultaneously, it took about 18 months.
- Flexibility: With open-source, you have more freedom to build solutions that ideally suit your needs. Typically, you’re not going to adopt the entire open-source code base; you take the pieces that do what you need. And if you find a better option for one element of the solution? Unlike with proprietary technology, you can change it, on your own schedule, without having to ask a vendor to do it for you.
- Innovation: When you start embracing open-source networking in particular, you begin to accrue the benefits that come from living in software rather than hardware world. Rolling out a new service or capability is no longer a multi-year project. Once you have a mature development infrastructure in place, you can continually experiment with new ideas, tweak them, and scale up those that make sense.
- Credibility: When an individual company develops an approach to solving a set of technical problems, it takes time for the wider industry to evaluate it and decide if they’re willing to invest in it. In an open-source ecosystem, many companies have already weighed in. A jointly developed solution already has a kind of stamp of approval, and the industry at large—or at least a significant part of it—is on the same page regarding the best way to solve that problem.
It’s Time to Take the Plunge
Of course, not all open-source is created equal. Literally, anyone can publish code under an open-source license and allow people to download and use it. What you should be looking for, especially when it comes to open-source networking, is standardized solutions. That doesn’t mean it has to be an actual standard—the big open-source groups often now work well ahead of standards bodies. But when you use an open-source solution backed by a broad community of contributors, you’re using code that’s been evaluated and tested by many of the smartest, most experienced people in the industry.
There are, of course, trade-offs associated with such open-source approaches. Standardized solutions are rarely as performant or feature-rich as proprietary out of the box. They are, after all, abstractions, intended to solve the most common set of problems for the largest number of users. They also most definitely don’t work “out of the box.” In a multivendor service provider network, for example, making open-source network controllers work with that specific mix of proprietary hardware and systems can require significant development and integration. It’s an investment, however, that pays off.
Bottom line, any service provider (or any enterprise with a large, dynamic network) will eventually have to make this choice. You can keep handing over the keys to proprietary vendors and let them dictate what you do, how you do it, and how much you’ll pay for it. Or, you can start down the path towards open-source and software-driven paradigms, and put the ultimate control of your environment in your own hands.
This is where Lumina Networks comes in. With our in-house expertise in southbound and northbound interfaces and leadership in open source, combined with our hardened, pure-play OpenDaylight solutions, we are a valuable partner to any company looking to take the Open Source plunge.
Learn more about how our NetDev services have supported many tier-1 OpenDaylight deployments here.
Not long ago, if you walked into a service provider organization and asked what people thought about open-source, you’d get a lot of blank stares. You might run across engineers playing around with open-source software in their spare time. But on the list of strategic priorities, most service providers treated open-source projects as interesting lab experiments—if they thought about them at all.
Things have most definitely changed. Today, most cloud services (and most web-scale companies delivering them) run largely on open-source server software. Indeed, the fastest-growing areas of tech (Big Data, machine learning, microservices, virtualization) largely run on open-source. Despite its historically slow evolution relative to other technologies, networking itself is moving to open-source too. The world’s leading communications service providers, and even most of the world’s leading networking vendors, now participate in multiple open-source networking projects.
What changed? Why has open-source emerged as the preferred model for so many technologies—even among traditional stalwarts of proprietary solutions, like network operators? And what do companies hope to get out of it? Let’s take a closer look.
Drivers of Open-Source
To understand the value of open-source, start by looking at its opposite: closed, proprietary solutions. It’s instructive to look specifically at the world of networking, where proprietary solutions still often dominate. At the highest level, networking isn’t a complex concept—moving packets from Point A to Point B. Yet historically, each networking vendor had its own proprietary solution for how networks were architected and operated. Ask the network vendors, and they’ll say they do this to deliver superior features and functions that work basically out of the box. Ask the service providers and large enterprises buying the equipment, however, and you’ll get a different answer: proprietary solutions let vendors lock customers into their ecosystems.
If you’re a company with a smaller network that does what you want, that may not be an issue. If you’re a Tier-1 service provider spending billions annually on networking, and you’re locked into buying from one vendor because no one else can viably compete for your business, you’re liable to get frustrated.
First, whenever you want to update your network to deliver new capabilities to your customers, it takes a very long time. Your network roadmap—in many ways, your business—is in your vendors’ hands. These vendors historically deliver new releases on the timescales associated with physical hardware, on the order of months and years. Meanwhile, the cloud and application providers you’re competing with are living in a world of agile software sprints, where changes happen in days, sometimes in hours.
More importantly, you’re stuck using networking products that, by design, are not interoperable. When you’re buying tens of thousands of network elements, you’d prefer to have vendors competing for your business, both to keep prices low and to keep your vendors responsive. But if you’re using Vendor A for your metro network, and you’d like to try bringing in Vendor B, it’s incredibly difficult. So your capital and operational costs are always higher than they would be if there was true competition.
The open-source model, especially as applied to the network, empowers companies to break out of the boxes that proprietary vendors have historically kept them. They can begin to create a networking paradigm that’s much more flexible and interoperable, and ultimately, more cost-effective. Next week’s blog will dive into tapping into the value of open source.
Learn more about how Lumina Networks applies open source solutions to return network control to service providers here.
Open source networking expert Andrew Coward, CEO of Lumina Networks, sits with Light Reading’s Iain Morris to address 5G network automation. The two discuss the fundamental architectural advantage reached when automating a unified network of legacy equipment, new 5G technology, and virtualized functions collectively. From labs to production, they continue by highlighting the importance of learning from pre-5G radio trials.
Watch the video.
Originally posted here: https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/5g/why-now-is-the-time-for-5g/v/d-id/748269
THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Oct. 08, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cloudify Platform Ltd. and Lumina Networks today at the SDN World Congress, announced a strategic partnership to bring agility to service providers with legacy and virtualized networks. The two industry-changing companies will cooperate on customer deployments to automate service delivery without vendor lock-in.
On the heels of a successful tier-one service provider production deployment, the two companies will productize a new open source plug-in to enable service orchestration for brownfield networks that want to deploy NFV. Enabling the Cloudify cloud native orchestration platform to provision network connectivity, the plug-in provides unified controls of underlay equipment via a network path-based application, the Lumina Flow Manager, on the Lumina SDN Controller.
With shared support of ONAP, including Lumina’s continued leadership in OpenDaylight, this alliance renews the companies’ commitment to providing service providers network evolution without vendor lock-in.
“Our partnership gives service providers exactly what they need to bring VNFs to production – control of both the virtual and physical network, orchestrated and controlled as one network and one service” says Lumina Networks CEO, Andrew Coward. “Together, through joint development and open source cooperation, we will build on our success helping customers design and implement NFV and SDN solutions to bring network automation and service continuity to production.”
“Cloudify and Lumina have been working together to deliver real-world NFV transformation through DevOps agility and automation at the networking layer, doing so successfully and in production at Tier-1 service providers.” says Ariel Dan, CEO at Cloudify. “This partnership enables organizations to modernize their legacy networks by confidently building best of breed, production-grade, open source networking stacks across multi-cloud & cloud native environments.”
About Lumina Networks
Lumina Networks believes the future is open software networks where service providers are in control of their development. Lumina is the catalyst that brings open software networking out of the lab and into the live network. We develop open source platforms and provide NetDev Services to jointly deliver production systems and to transfer know-how in Agile Software Development methods. For more information, please visit www.luminanetworks.com.
Cloudify specializes in IT operations automation technology that manages application and network services through open orchestration. The company’s Cloudify software enhances the velocity and reliability of software deployment, lifecycle management and network functions in cloud-native environments. Built and maintained by an open source community, Cloudify is used by telecoms, internet service providers, financial services firms, e-commerce companies and others for NFV operations and cloud management & orchestration.
Cloudify is spearheading open standard initiatives in cloud management and NFV and is the leading orchestration provider behind the TOSCA specification. Cloudify is a founding member of ONAP, next-generation network automation standards, and an active member in OASIS and ETSI standard bodies.
Cloudify has corporate offices in the US, Europe and Asia. More at cloudify.co.
Click to read Press Release.
Support for Multiple Domains Allow Users Greater Flexibility in Migrating to Segment Routing, NFV or Whitebox Switching
September 25, 2018, AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Open Networking Summit — Today Lumina Networks introduced version 8 of the company’s SDN Controller, powered by OpenDaylight™. Lumina will also be demonstrating advances in its SD-Core software at the Open Networking Summit in Amsterdam this week.
The Lumina SDN Controller, along with the Flow Manager software, seamlessly defines and implements a single end-to-end service over a multi-domain environment, mixing traditional routers with white box switches and virtual network functions. To illustrate maximized flexibility, the demo leverages Cisco XRv routers via segment routing (BGP-LS and PCEP), White box switches via OpenFlow, Pseudowires and a multi-protocol path computation engine using PCEP. Integrity of the service is maintained through network changes and failures as BGP-LS, PCEP, OpenFlow and NETCONF interfaces are all supported simultaneously. Lumina’s unique capabilities leverage OpenDaylight’s ability to support multiple control protocols at the same time.
On the tail of the company’s recently closed series A funding from AT&T, Verizon Ventures and Rahi Systems, Lumina Network’s eighth platform release focuses on improved network scalability, stability, and tools. Included in the Oxygen-based release comes increased cross-project code quality, and updates to Karaf 4.1.3, to enable developers with improved agility and compliance of future upgrades.
“As OpenDaylight continues to mature, our job at Lumina is to deliver a carrier-grade, fully tested implementation of each OpenDaylight release,” says Andrew Coward, CEO of Lumina Networks. “We combine these releases with use cases and additional functionality that enables our customers to bridge the gap and bring SDN to both existing and new network equipment.”
In production with numerous tier one communication service providers around the world, Lumina SDN Controller is leveraged in common use cases including container networking, service automation, SD-Core, intent-based networking, and 5G application placement. In addition to the SDN Controller, and NetDev Services, the company offers specific applications such as Fabric Manager for Kubernetes®, Lumina Flow Manager, for path computation and management, and VNF Manager for configuration of virtualized network functions.
Lumina Networks offers free downloads and support for trial at www.luminanetworks.com.
About Lumina Networks
Lumina Networksbelieves the future is open software networks where service providers are in control of their development. Lumina is the catalyst that brings open software networking out of the lab and into the live network. We develop open source platforms and provide NetDev Services to jointly deliver production systems and to transfer know-how in Agile Software Development methods. For more information, please visit www.luminanetworks.com.
© 2018 Lumina Networks. All Rights Reserved.
Lumina Networks and the Lumina networks logo and symbol are trademarks or registered trademarks of Lumina Networks, Inc. in the United States and in other countries. Other marks may belong to third parties.